The man who discovered the Spice Girls
2007: Nick Battle's
high-flying career within the music industry saw him introduce the Spice Girls
to their music publishers, co-write songs with Gary Barlow
and work with Simon Cowell.
But family tragedy led to Nick giving up his dream job and its six-figure salary. Kevin Gotts
His heart-warming story is one of the ultimate triumph of faith, hope and love which he shared with members and guests at a Full Gospel Business dinner in Norwich earlier this year.
At the age of 16, his parents divorced. He became a Christian in the midst of family problems. Three years later, feeling unsettled and broken, Nick moved to Sheffield. Drugs became a substitute for lack of love. "I had lost the plot and became a postman then a steel worker, a strange environment as my heart was in the music business," he explains.
He decided to give music a go and moved to London. Starting out as a bass player with the Christian rock band After The Fire they had a fine time playing the clubs on lemonade.
Progression in his career saw him meeting such legends as Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden, Steve Jones from The Sex Pistols, Sir Cliff Richard and Sting.
1988 was a momentous year, working with the Police and REM and meeting a special lady briefly at the Greenbelt Christian music festival. After four days he tracked down Lynn and they married within a year.
"Things were good, with the birth of our daughter Micha after a couple of years, and moving out of London to Chorleywood for a better life."
Tragedy struck when Nick's pregnant wife, Lynn, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Nick movingly described her illness and tells how he fell back on his faith: "It is my belief that my heavenly Father God never once let go of my hand, but walked through the fire with me, so I was never completely alone."
A demo tape arrived at work, which prompted Nick and his boss Simon Fuller to invite an all-girl band along. They saw "something special" as the girls danced around the table. Realizing that bigger record labels were interested too, they prayed and later were successful in signing the now legendary Spice Girls.
Nick's wife died after a long struggle leaving him with two daughters aged 9 and 10. Sustained by friends, who anonymously supported them financially, he went from times of raging at God to eventually coming to a conclusion that everything on earth is a gift temporarily.
Nick also tells about the God of second chances and how he put back together the pieces of his life after the loss of his wife, restarting his career and finding happiness again with his new wife Nicky.
Nick is a music consultant who in the last couple of years has worked with Russell Watson, Engelbert Humperdinck, and Michael Ball. He is currently recording a brand new album with Michael ready for Christmas, as well as putting the finishing touches to his own record and instrumental brand of music, Soaking In The Spirit, available from Authentic.
Although Nick enjoyed something of the rock and roll lifestyle – a penchant for parrot collecting being one of his more benign excesses - he remains grounded by the Christian faith he had held since a boy in Sheffield. A faith that was to see him through some of the darkest days of his life.
You can read more of Nick's story in his book, Big Boys Don't Cry, £7.99
Pictured above is Nick Battle, the man who unearthed pop sensation The Spice Girls.